Scoring the goals that help Belgium lift a first-ever World Cup would be a dream for Dries Mertens, but the Belgium forward admits there’s another reason why he wants to help his country find the back of the net – to help his friends get free televisions.
Electronics company Krefel has offered Belgian customers a full refund on a newly bought TV if Roberto Martinez‘s side score 16 goals in Russia.
The Red Devils are halfway there too, as they were top scorers in the group stage with nine, one of which was scored by Napoli flyer Mertens.
“My friends bought a television, so I am thinking about that,” he said.
“With the qualities of Romelu [Lukaku] and Eden [Hazard], we can create a great deal of danger.
“We are doing really well. We like to score a lot of goals.”
Belgium face Japan in the last 16 in Rostov on Monday after a 1-0 win over England meant they finished top of Group G with three successive victories.
Martinez’s men scraped through at this stage of the 2014 World Cup against the United States, winning 2-1 after extra time before losing the quarter-final 1-0 to Argentina.
Mertens was also part of the squad that were dumped out of Euro 2016 two summers ago after they lost 3-1 to Wales in the quarter-finals, having taken the lead through Radja Nainggolan’s stunning long-range effort.
“Yes, we are favourites but watch our last-16 game against the USA in 2014,” said Mertens.
“They had a chance in the last minute which could have eliminated us. And I am not going to talk about the elimination to Wales at Euro 2016.
“But the atmosphere in the team is fantastic and there is the belief that we can win all our matches.”
England and Colombia will clash in the last-16 of World Cup 2018 at the Spartak Stadium on July 3.
And Colombia’s midfielder Carlos Sanchez has addressed the fact that his team aren’t facing striker Harry Kane alone, but an England team that has many star players – although he believes the Tottenham forward has shown his quality at the tournament.
Find out what 32-year old had to say about his team’s round of 16 opponents below.
Modric had squandered a chance to win the game from the spot in extra-time when Kasper Schmeichel repelled his effort, but Subasic saved from Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen to allow Ivan Rakitic to win it with his side’s final kick in the shoot-out.
Most of the earlier fireworks in Nizhny Novgorod had arrived inside the opening four minutes, during which defender Mathias Jorgensen fired Denmark into the lead before Mario Mandzukic levelled.
However, their joy was short-lived as Zlatko Dalic’s men restored parity within three minutes when, after defender Simon Kjaer’s clearance had ricocheted back off team-mate Andreas Christensen, the ball fell nicely for Mandzukic to blast home the equaliser.
Here we take a look at all goals in animation from normal time.